tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 11, 2016 8:00pm-10:01pm EST
roles, continuing on politico in a role around helping our race. we launched politico europe looking at creating and launching new things. i came to start political yearsne two-and-a-half ago. we started that. it has been an exciting platform to take us into longform reporting. the war of ideas. >> now, the funeral for nancy reagan. service was held at the ronald reagan presidential library in simi valley, california where she is being buried next to her husband. speaking, tom
his truth is marching on. marching on. >> the lord be with you. let us pray. oh god, whose mercies cannot be numbers, accept our prayers on behalf of of thy servant nancy, and rancher entrance into the land of light and joy in the fellowship of thy saints, through jesus christ, thy son our lord, who lives and reigns with you in the holy spirit, one god, now and forever, amen. >> a reading from the book of proverbs.
when one finds a worth the wife, her value is far beyond pearls. her husband, and trusting his heart tumor has unfeeling pride and should bring some good, and not people all the days of her life. she obtained wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands. like merchant ships, she brings provisions from afar. she gets up while it is still night, and provides food for her household. out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard credit she says about her work with strength, and sturdy are her arms. she sets about her treating with successes, and at night her lamp does not dim. in her hand she puts the distaff and in her fingers the spindle. she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. they do not need to fear when the snow comes, all of her charges are doubly cloth.
she makes covering for her bed, she is clothed in fine linen and purple. her husband is respected at the city gate, where he sits with the elders of the land. she makes linen garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts. she is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come. she opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly council. she watches the conduct of her counsel and does not eat her food and idleness. her children rise up and praise her, her husband also extols her. many are the women of proven worth, but you excelled them all. charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the lord is to be praised. give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise for the city gates. the word of the lord. >> thanks be to god.
>> in the spring of 1987, president reagan and i were driven into a large hanger and out of the airport to await the arrival of my wife and mrs. reagan, prior to the departure ceremonies to the return to washington following their highly successful state visit to canada. president reagan i were alone
except for the security detail. when her car drove in a moment later out stepped our wives, looking like a million dollars. as they headed toward us, present reagan beam, he threw his arm around my shoulder, and he said with a grin, you know, brian, for two irishmen, we sure married up. [laughter] it reflects a unique reagan reality. she really, always, was on his mind. we all know of ron's love and average for nancy, and the elegance and constant manner in which he publicly expressed it. one day at the white house, after another absolutely flowing tribute by president reagan to his beloved nancy, i said, privately, you know, ron, you're
going to give me and all the rest of us here in a whole lot of trouble with our lives. because we cannot keep up with you. [laughter] the president chuckled and look at me with that irish twinkle, and said well, brian, that is your public, not mine. [laughter] to illustrate this absolutely unique partnership and relationship, let me share with you today a letter he wrote to nancy on their first christmas together in the white house, on december 25, 1981. >> dear mrs. r, there are several less beloved women in my life and on christmas i should be giving them gold and precious stones and furs and lace and perfume. i know these with full short of
expressing how much these women mean to me and how into my life would be without them. there is of course my first lady. she brings so much grace and charm to whatever she does, that even stuffy, formal functions sparkle and turn into fun times. everything is done with class. all i have to do is wash out and show up -- wash up and show up. there's another woman in my life who does things i do not always get to see, but i hear about them and seek photos of them. she takes an abandoned child in her arms, and the look on her face, only a madonna could match. and the look on her face is one of adoration, because i adore her as well. she wins over a wheelchair, and will touch an elderly that went
with -- elderly invalid with warmth and compassion. there is another gal i love, who is a nest builder. if she were stuck for three days in a hotel room, she would manage to make it home sweet home. she move things around, looks at it, straightens this, straightens that, any wonder why it was not like that in the first place. i am also crazy about the girl who goes to the ranch with me. if we are tidying up the woods, she is a key we powerhouse. pushing over dead trees. she is a wonderful person to sit by the fire with, or to ride with, or just to be with when the sun goes down and the stars come out. if ever she stopped going to the ranch, i was stopped to, because i would see her in every beauty
spot there is, and i couldn't stand that. then there is a sentimental lady i love, whose eyes fell up so easily. on the other hand, she loves to laugh them and her laugh is like tinkling bells. i hear those bells, and i feel good all over, even if i tell a joke she has heard many times before. fortunately, all of these women in my life are you. fortunately for me that is, for there could be no life for me without you. browning asked, how do i love thee, let me count the ways. for me, there is no way to account for i love the whole gang of you, mommy, first lady, the sentimental you, the fun you, and the media warehouse you -- key we powerhouse you. merry christmas al capone all my love, lucky me -- merry
christmas all, all my love, lucky me. there was a love story for the ages. as first couple ron and nancy reagan represented america with great distinction. they had a magnificent sense of vocation. they had style, and they had grace, and they had class. some of you may have heard my reference to lines from william butler gates with talking in other circumstances to with reagan's meant to us all. today, those same golden words tumbled across cotton and down the vista of the years, as we think of nancy reunited, finally, with her beloved ronnie. he wrote, think where man's glory most begins and ends, and
have no hope. for we believe that jesus died and rose, so too will god, through jesus, ringwood him those who have fallen asleep. indeed, we tell you this on the word of the lord, that we who are alive and left until the coming of the lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. for the lord himself, with the word of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of god will come down from heaven and the dead in christ will rise first. we who are alive who are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the lord in the air. thus, we shall always be with the lord. therefore, console one another with these words. the word of the lord. >> thanks be to god.
>> thank you so much. it is an honor, and i'm so grateful to be included today. i have been asked to say a few words before i read a passage from the new testament for mrs. reagan. you may want to sit down. [laughter] 15 years ago i interviewed her, it was long after the white house years, and i did not know her then. but our conversation was about the president and alzheimer's, and how you go on when every single day, the size of the love is the size of the loss. and when the interview was over, we kept talking.
and i checked in with her by phone, and came to los angeles to have lunches with her. those lunches, in which she a microscopic amounts of food, tiny chopped salads and one chocolate chip cookie, and iced tea. i was so terrified of that if i used to hide my role under the table and butter is, so she would not see it. i did not want to offend her. [laughter] but make no mistake, she would bop a journalist if she did not like a report that was done. she was way too interested in people into you really were, what you really knew. all of us will together in this life. and so we talked about politics, and celebrities, and she told
stories about old hollywood. and the days when life would throw you a curve, and you would get up and put on your lipstick, comb your hair, and kept the band playing. i always thought of that morocco, that said there is no foreign legion for women as well. they have no uniform and no flag, no metals, but they are brave. the memories, the silences, and her happiness and the children were coming. and all this week i have been thinking about watching her heads down the hall, because she would head into the bedroom and right there, i cannot remember what it was, was a pillow or a frame to needlepoint, but i know
the words were clearly for president reagan. it said if you must leave, could you just take me with you? i think of that again today as i am asked to read this passage from the gospel of john. >> jesus said, "do not let your hearts be troubled. trust in god, trust also in me. in my father's house are many rooms, if it were not so, i would have told you. i go to prepare a place for you, and if i go to prepare a place for you, i will come back and take you with me so that where i am coming you may also be. you know the way to the place where i am going." thomas said to him, "lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" jesus answered, "i am the way and the truth and the life. no one comes to the father
>> we gather here today to say goodbye to nancy davis reagan, a beautiful, smart, and gracious woman, a woman who captured the heart of a man who loved his craft, his country, and his countrymen, and most especially, loved this remarkable woman. a woman without whom ronald wilson reagan would never have become the 40th president of the united states, or succeeded as well as he did. the cold war that president reagan did so much to end brought them together. in 1950, the name nancy davis appeared on a list of communist
sympathizers, with the hollywood lackluster's no that this was a different person, and not the young actress? she took her problem to her union boss, the president of the screen actors guild, ronald reagan. they met at a hollywood restaurant. the dinner would be brief, they agreed, because each had an early casting call. in fact, neither had an early casting call. [laughter] an early casting call was the standard hollywood excuse to put a quick end to unpleasant dinners. but what i opened the door, she will later, i knew he was the man i wanted to marry. their meeting lasted through dinner, and then into the wee hours at a nearby club. the third age in shakespeare's seven ages of man is the lover,
sighing like a furnace, with a wolf hall ballard. shakespeare, of course, is gently mocking young lovers, their passion always burns hot, he said, and then it feeds. well, the bard never met nancy or her ronnie. as prime minister mulroney pointed out, they could hardly bear to be a part in when he was on a movie set, or on the road for general electric, or as a candidate, or as governor, or as president, he wrote her, every single night. when they were together, he hated love notes around the house -- hid love notes around the house for her to find. one night at pacific palisades, he wrote, whenever i treasure and enjoy, all would be without meeting if i did not have you. i live in a permanent christmas
because god gave me you. nancy saved his love letters in a shopping bag in her closet. she reciprocated by slipping little notes and jellybeans in with the clothes in his suitcase. and while he was away, she said, i would drive home feeling very lonely and very sad, and i would knit him socks. she also reciprocated by dedicating her life to him. i was, i suppose, a woman of the old school, she wrote. if you wanted to make your life with a man, you took on whatever his interests were, and they begin your interests, too. if ronald reagan had owned a shoe store, nancy would have been very happy pushing shoes and working the register.
ronald reagan's interest turned in a different direction, of course, to politics and public service. nancy, who might have preferred a more private life, became the consummate political wife and first lady. he owed much of the success of his presidency to her. she had an instinct for reading people that the president knew he lacked. nancy, he wrote, sees the goodness in people, but she also has an extra instinct that allows her to see the flaws. nancy was the president's eyes and years when it came to personnel. she knew who was paddling their own canoe and who was loyal to the president. she was as tough as a marine drill sergeant, as many of us found out when things did not go well. [laughter] the president's advisers learn to keep her informed and seek her support. if she trusted them and agreed, she would at her voice to
there's, but she was, without a doubt, absolutely without a doubt, his closest advisor. she is the one who said, you need to do this, ronnie, you need to find a way to negotiate with gorbachev. the only time i saw her lose her composure was the day the president was shot. she was devastated and, in fact, she fell apart. even in his condition, he did his best to give her strength. honey, i forgot to duck, he said. that was his way of comforting her. president reagan left the hospital convinced that god had spared him for a special purpose, and the first lady left with a fierce determination to protect him and every way that she possibly could. ronald and nancy reagan were defined by their love for each other. they were as close to being one
person as it is possible for any two people to be. when the president made his slow exit from the stage, she dedicated herself to his memory, and to his place in history. now she, too, has exited the stage, to join her beloved ronnie in eternity. i can just imagine how st. peter might let the president know that she had arrived. a beautiful lady is at the gate asking for you, he said, with a jar of jelly beans. a shopping bag full of letters, and a suitcase filled with hand-knitted socks. we love you, nancy. we miss you, but we will see you on the other side.
>> this is a very emotional and evocative time for me. i arrived in los angeles in 1966 to join nbc news three and a half years out of south dakota, i was 26 years old, and the geniuses on the nbc news desk said to me there is an actor running for governor of california. we don't think he is going anywhere, you are the junior guy, so you get on the bus with him. [laughter] it is also worth pointing out that was before the brown family put a semipermanent lease on the governor's office of cal yet. [laughter]
and so i did. it was such an instructive beginning for me as a political correspondent, because i saw the best run campaign i had ever seen up to that point, and maybe since. by the time the governor got ready to run for a second term, i knew my way around, so i went to the los angeles press club where he would make his announcement, and walked into the holding room early and took a seat in the far corner. then i realized it was kind of reserved for reagan supporters and family and friends because they began to line the walls, including jimmy and gloria stuart. nancy came in and she was on autopilot as she made her way around that wall of friends and supporters, giving each a kiss and a word or two did it dawned on me that she was going to get to me. i am the outlier at that point, i'm a reporter from the press. she got to me and she leaned
back and i quickly said, mrs. reagan, whatever it is i have, it is not catching. she laughed heartily, leaned over, and gave me a kiss. that was the beginning of a remarkable friendship between the first lady and a reporter. it was also a time when i began to appreciate just how much she meant to the man who became the president of the united dates, not just as his wife, but as his best political advisor, as jim baker and others have pointed out. as we all saw in those photographs and videos, she could be the adoring wife in public, but behind the scenes was a politically astute analyst and the keeper of the flame. we stayed in close touch but it was not always easy. shortly after his inauguration as president, i made some public comments about his early years in which i said i thought the poor boy there and it was
somewhat overblown. after all, he had been a successful broadcaster in his 20's and then a movie star under contract before he was 30. nancy was furious, and the word came from jim baker and others, stay clear of the white house for a while. we will let you know when it is safe to go back. [laughter] about two months later, meredith and i were invited to a state dinner and i was told that i would have to think about what i arrived in the receiving line. don't say anything to the president, he doesn't care, but nancy is still steaming. there does was nervous -- meredith was nervous because i had not come up with anything to say. finally, i stood before her, and i saw hinder her eyes that steely glaze from people who did not please her. and i saw -- spontaneously said, nancy, back to square one.
she looked at me and broke out laughing and said, back to square one. the next day, a white house photograph of that moment arrived with the inscription, tom, back to square one, love, nancy. that was such a telling moment of how astute she was as a political wife, as someone who knew about personal relationships, how to get her message across, and then quickly move on. we all saw those other moments when she was utterly in command. jim has her for to that awful day when the president was shot. they did not know what his condition was. when the secret service told her that there was a shooting, the president was rushed to the hospital, she said i must go. they said we don't think that is a good idea. she said right away, you get me a car or i will want to the hospital. the president and i shared a birthday. over the years, it became an occasion to share phone calls and notes, especially between mrs. reagan and me.
when the president was going through his ordeal after leaving the white house, our calls became more regular, and i could hear her loneliness, and on one of the calls i suggested the next time i'm in california, we should have lunch, and maybe we should invite our mutual friend warren beatty. no, tom, she said, it is enough to have lunch with you. i'm told the next day when the phone call arrived and it was nancy saying, do you think ward might like to have lunch with us -- warren might want to have lunch with us? [laughter] and the luncheon companion star power when of many multiples. there is nothing like walking into a los angeles dining room with mrs. reagan on your arm. brokaw and beatty were also quickly in the publications. we treasure those lunches because she always arrived with mr. political observations and the best gossip from both coasts.